Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Urban Development assured the members that the parliamentary committee will hear their recommendations towards formulating a policy framework to ensure India is on course of expanding its bus fleet for all its citizens.
To: Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs
हर लाख पर 50 Bus - Unite to demand more buses
50 buses per lakh individuals in every city
Why is this important?
As India recovers from the pandemic, we are faced with the challenge of reviving the economy and restoring the livelihoods of millions. India’s Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs (MOHUA) recently issued an advisory which says,
“Public transport is the backbone in urban areas especially for the low/middle-income commuters for which these services are the mainstay of their daily transit needs. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to visit different Public Transport options and come out with solutions, which are green, pollution-free, convenient, and sustainable. Such a strategy must give major focus on Non-Motorised Transport and Public Transport”
Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself said at the Global MOVE summit that,
“public transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives” and emphasized the need for mobility that is “safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of society which includes the elderly, the women and the specially-abled”.
Indeed a vast number of people depend on public transport for their daily commutes in cities, be it college students, office staff, factory workers, domestic help, service staff, school children, housewives, caregivers . . . the list goes on. Dependent as they are, the priority for these people is affordability, and ease of access. During the nation-wide lockdown, it was city buses that were in operation, proving to be the lifeline for frontline relief workers.
There are only 30,000 public transport buses plying in cities in India which mean less than 8 buses per lakh people. The service-level benchmarks of MoHUA itself set a desirable target of 60 buses per lakh population.
Our cities continue to grow – from a current 377 million urban population to a projected 590 million by 2030 and a whopping 875 million by 2050, but the buses needed to cater to the needs of commuters continue to fall woefully short.
The Indian government must realize that many among us cannot afford to own vehicles and depend on public buses to meet our commuting needs. Many cannot drive a personal vehicle, such as senior citizens, children, and persons with disabilities. Those who have no option but to use a personal vehicle end up paying a lot more for their commutes and are constantly staring at ever-increasing fuel prices. And many would gladly ditch their motorcycle or car and avoid the daily hassle of traffic jams and the stress it creates, whenever public transport becomes a comfortable option.
Additionally, MOHUA ’s advisory asked cities to develop plans for bus fleet expansion to implement physical distancing norms realizing the significance of having public buses so that bus commuters can travel to work safely.
A scheme to get 100,000 buses plying in urban areas would need an outlay of Rs 66,000 crores. This would be a much-needed stimulus for the economy, create jobs and get cities moving again. Investing in this small amount for the larger good is important now.
Bus commuters demand that MOHUA backs this advisory with financial commitments to help all cities achieve a target of a minimum 50 buses per lakh people. We know it is doable but needs a political will in ensuring financial assistance and incentives through a clear centrally funded scheme, it will be impossible for cash-strapped states to implement the advisory.
This is an urgent need and presents an opportunity to strengthen and transform our public transport system. We call upon Hardeep Singh Puri to rise to the challenge and respond to this crisis by investing in public bus systems that will help revive our economy by enabling people to travel safely, economically and provide ease of access.
Join the movement demanding at least 50 buses per one lakh people in every city. Together we can and we will.
श्री हरदीप सिंह पुरी जी, यह बहुत जरूरी है और सही समय है, सार्वजनिक बसों को बढ़ाएं, तत्काल प्रभाव से बसों में निवेश करके देश और देशवासियों को इस कोरोना तथा आर्थिक मंदी के संकट से बहार लाने में मदद करें और अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी निभाए!
திரு. ஹர்தீப் சிங் பூரி, தற்போதய நெருக்கடிக்கு பதிலளிக்கும் வகையில், நமது பொருளாதாரத்தை புதுப்பிக்க, பொது பஸ் அமைப்புகளில் முதலீடு செய்து', மக்கள் எளிதில் அணுகி , பாதுகாப்பாக, மலிவான விலையில் பயணிக்க உதவ வேண்டிய சரியான தருணம் மற்றும் அவசர தேவை இது என்பதை தெரியப்படுத்துகிறோம்